How to Stay Motivated During the Burpee Challenge

Vanessa Villegas taking a break during the LIVESTRONG.COM burpee challenge
If you get tired, learn to rest and not quit! (Image: Raphe Wolfgang/LIVESTRONG.COM)

Well, team, it’s week 3 of the LIVESTRONG.COM 30-Day Burpee Challenge and you’re halfway through! Thus far you’ve done 144 burpees total, which is definitely an accomplishment worth celebrating.

But don’t stop there — you have another 531 to go! And while that may be the burpee equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest, you haven’t come this far to throw in the towel. Just take things one day at a time. Here’s your schedule for this week (see full calendar below):

  • Day 15: 25
  • Day 16: 27
  • Day 17: 29
  • Day 18: rest (Hallelujah!)
  • Day 19: 31
  • Day 20: 33
  • Day 21: 35
Printable LIVESTRONG.COM 30-day burpee challenge calendar
Save this to your phone to help you remember to do your burpees every day. (Image: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM)

But it’s understandable that halfway through things you start to lose steam. The newness has worn off, you’re tired, and responsibilities are piling on. It’s tempting to want to throw in the towel. Here are a few tips to help beat that mid-challenge slump and power through to the finish line.

1. Remember Your Why

Think back to week 1 of the challenge, when you established your why. Why are you doing this challenge? Some reasons might be:

  • Get more active — baby steps!
  • Strengthen your entire body
  • Boost your metabolism with exercise
  • Set a good example for your kids
  • Win the friendly interoffice competition you started
  • See how far and how hard you can push yourself
  • Have fun by doing something different (yes, this totally counts)

Whatever your reason, remind yourself of that now. If you need to, write it on a sticky note and keep it somewhere you’ll see it. Having trouble thinking of something? Focus on one of these benefits of burpees:

  • Build full-body strength
  • Improve endurance
  • Good for cardiovascular health
  • Torch calories (about 240 to 355 calories in 30 minutes)
  • Cross-train for other activities (running, cycling, dance, sports, etc.)
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. (Image: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM)

2. Do Your Burpees in the Morning

There’s a reason so many people who’ve made exercise a habit work out in the morning: It’s done first thing and you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day! Apply that same principle to your burpees.

Even if you’re splitting your burpees into sets (which you should probably do as the number creeps higher and higher), aim to at least do your first set soon after you wake up. That way you get the ball rolling and give yourself an instant energy boost.

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them.
Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them. (Image: The Stanley Weston Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images/LIVESTRONG.COM)

3. Post a Favorite Motivational Quote

What kind of quotes or mantras inspire you to be your best? Do you need tough love? (What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!) Or do you need some gentle encouragement? (No matter how slow you’re going, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.)

Find a quote you love and keep a reminder of it somewhere. Maybe you save an image from Pinterest or Instagram to use as your phone or computer background. Maybe you write it on a sticky note and keep it on your fridge, car dash or bulletin board (right next to your “why” from No. 1).

Need a little inspiration? Here are some popular ones:

  • Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
  • It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.
  • It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.
  • Stop competing with others and start competing with yourself.
  • Don’t wish for it, work for it!
  • If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
  • Do something today that your future self with thank you for.
  • It’s not about having time, it’s about making time.
  • Sore today. Strong tomorrow.
  • I’m working on myself, for myself, by myself.
  • Hustle for that muscle.
  • Just do it!

4. Laugh It Off

For better or worse, complaining about something that’s difficult brings people together. And what better to whine about than burpees? Just do a quick online search for “burpee meme” and be prepared to laugh until you cry (because, honestly, same).

Because what good is going through all the torture burpees bring if you can’t at least laugh about it once it’s over (and then share that laugh with a friend). Find a good one? Post it in our challenge Facebook group so we can all have a good chuckle.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. (Image: Amy Dixon Fitness/LIVESTRONG.COM)

5. Find a Support Community

You’re not in this alone! Even if you live by yourself, there’s a huge community of people in the same boat as you who are ready and willing to support you and cheer your on to the end.

It’s the LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group, a group of more than 30,000 members dedicated to bettering themselves, healthy living and supporting each other in the process. And you can also follow our challenge co-hosts Mike Donavanik and Vanessa Villegas on Instagram for additional workout motivation.

If online communities aren’t your jam, find or create one IRL. Join a gym, go to a fitness class you love, find a running group or just ask friends, family and co-workers if they want to join you!

Want even more motivation? Follow LIVESTRONG.COM on Instagram.

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